Blizzard took over the “Vicarious Visions” studio – they had previously worked on Destiny 2 and the “Tony Hawk” series. The team should now be developed in Diablo 2 Resurrected and Diablo 4. Blizzard boss J. Allen Brack explains exactly what it was like during BlizzCon 2021.
This is the pure news: The news itself was known a month ago. A press release stated that the Vicarious Visions studio was joining Blizzard Entertainment:
- The 200 people on the team will become Blizzard employees and will no longer develop games in their own right.
- Vicarious Visions Director Jen Oneal is moved to a leadership role at Blizzard, becoming “Vice President of Development.”
- The studio will remain in Albany, New York, on the East Coast. Blizzard is based in Irvine, California, on the west coast of the United States.
At the end of January, the holidays didn’t officially reveal what Vicarious Visions is working on at Blizzard. But insider Jason Schreier was already screaming in the background: “They’re doing a Diablo 2 Remastered!”
And he was right.
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How long has this been going on? As it became known in an interview with Venture Beat, Vicarious Visions has been working with Blizzard for 2 years (via Venture Beat).
During that time, according to Blizzard boss Brack, it was recognized how well Blizzard and Vicarious Visions are doing:
Blizzard doesn’t have a long history of partnering with other studios. We are practically an island.
An idea we had from the beginning: It would be a shame if we worked together on a game and solved many integration problems and technical difficulties. And then at the end of Diablo 2 we just say: That was great, thank you so much and good luck with your next projects.
J. Allen Brack
That’s why Blizzard thought from the beginning: it would be great to continue working together.
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What is Vicarious Visions working on?: About the Diablo franchise. Brack says:
- part of the team is working on Diablo 2 Remastered
- part of the team is working on Diablo 4
- Blizzard wants them to continue working on Diablo in the future
Now they’re only making Blizzard games? Before joining Blizzard, Vicarious Visions worked on the Destiny 2 PC port and was also an auxiliary studio there. But they have also made their own games lead with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2.
Brack was asked if Vicarious Visions is making other games for Activision:
I don’t want to say never, but it’s not the plan (they are working on their own games). The plan is: for the foreseeable future, they should be tied to Blizzard brands in some way.
J. Allen Brack Vicarious Visions was founded in 1990 as an independent studio and became known for the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games. Activision bought the studio in 2005 and used it for its own projects. They were in the “Skylanders” series for a long time and were assigned to Destiny 2 in December 2016.
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That’s behind it: The Blizzard boss hints that everything would be a superfluidity that came out of nowhere. In fact, several factors came together here and the decision to have Vicarious Visions help out at Blizzard came out of the situation.
From Destiny’s point of view:
- Vicarious Visions was one of two jackpot studios that helped Bungie fuel its Destiny games with content from 2016 after it became clear that Bungie couldn’t handle its huge plans on its own.
In December 2016, Vicarious Visions announced that they would now be working with Bungie.
- Back in 2016 there was the legendary phrase from then-Activision CEO Eric Herishberg that they are planning a “stronger content pipeline” for Destiny, which should come from studios like Vicarious Visions helping with Destiny.
- Vicarious Visions apparently took over Destiny 2’s PC port and delivered content as well. The Forsaken campaign and other content in the game came from Vicarious Visions, and that was a good job.
- In fact, towards the end of 2018, it seemed that Bungie could now satisfy fans’ overwhelming hunger for content.
- But Bungie and Activision parted ways in early 2019, that is, 2 years ago, then Vicarious Visions was free and needed new projects.
Later in 2020, Bungie said: You couldn’t make something as big as Forsaken anymore. Because back then at Forsaken you had a lot more employees and money.
The employees with the most in 2018 were clearly referring to Vicarious Visions.